Killay, Dunvant and Surrounding Areas - Look No Further As Christmas Is On Your Door-step!
For years I've avoided dining out at British restaurants in the run up to Christmas as one usually ends up with only a 'Christmas menu', which by the time the 25th December lunch becomes a bit of an anti-climax. This year it's different! I've broken from my tradition to sample what I consider to be an unusual take on a Christmas lunch/dinner. The Village Bar Cafe in Killay Precinct is the venue and knowing the chef involved, Michele Treharne, I knew I was in for something special. Since its launch earlier this year dining at The Village has centred around 'tapas dishes' and this Christmas lunch was no exception. Branded as a Christmas Tapas Menu, I was intrigued to see what came out of the kitchen....and I wasn't disappointed in the slightest! It's a clever menu which caters for carnivores, vegetarians and vegans alike so there is something for everyone.
A good choice of six Starters which frankly will attract me back to try this menu over and over again! My preferred starter for this lunchtime is one of my all time favourites in the form of Quinelle of Mackerel Pate. This was served with a fresh and refreshing complement of mango salsa served on green leaves. It was a great combination as evidenced by the empty plate. I'm also tempted by the Smoked Salmon Roulade or the Mushroom Duxelle.
When it comes to a Christmas mains course I'm more of a traditionalist. Turkey is normally my number one choice. The Turkey Ballentine stuffed with Apricot and Chestnuts was the perfect selection (that's not to say I'll return to try the others another day or two) but this is where the choice became difficult - with a choice of two accompaniments only within the very reasonable (if not an undercharged) set price of £20.00 for a three course meal, my eyes became bigger than my belly. Roast Parsnips in Honey are a personal favourite, and Christmas meal is never Christmas without Rosemary Roast Potatoes but I was curious about the Deconstructed Sprouts with Pancetta or Red Onions, so very piggy-like I ordered three accompaniments rather than two!
I have to confess. Whilst the turkey and stuffing was delicious, the rosemary roast potatoes were perfect - crunchy on the outside and fluffy in the centre, the parsnips were deliciously moreish and the deconstructed sprouts a winner. Why I have never deconstructed sprouts and served them in this way myself at home I don't know.But hey, this year my guests at home over Christmas will be in for a treat as I steal the idea! (Sorry Chef Michele but they do say "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!") Just take a look at the next image and see what you think - isn't all that tempting!?
And if you think you don't get value for money - you're wrong! In fact for the portions and the overall value this can't be beaten, and if anything it's under-priced! And so on to dessert!
I'm not a huge fan of Christmas pudding, but I am a sucker for Rum & Raisin and Bread and Butter pudding and to find them combined in the Rum & Raisin Bread and Butter Pudding accompanied by (my choice) a Jack Daniels Honey ice cream (home made of course), then there is no contest. Yes I know, I should be eating something lighter like the Sherry Trifle, but hey, this is a one-off! What was it like? (See the image below and how clean the plate is to determine how well it went down.) The ice cream was pretty magnificent - a luscious taste of Jack Daniels, combined with the light bread and butter pudding with the rum and raisin flavour running through has quickly elevated itself to one of my most preferred desserts.
Since The Village Bar Cafe started offering a dining experience earlier this year, I have sampled many dishes emanating from Chef Michele's kitchen and I haven't been able to fault one in terms of taste and value for money. The establishment regularly offers themed dining evenings, including Spanish, French, Mexican, Indian and more and these have always been well attended, and hugely successful in all ways. There is a huge conurbation of properties in the area and the message is slow to filter through regarding their menu offerings throughout the weekdays Tuesday to Saturday. All I would say is that if you haven't yet ventured to The Village Bar Cafe since the revamp, and experienced Chef Michele's food then you are truly missing a treat. Just please, leave a table for me!
For those of you wanting to catch-up with what's happening at The Village Bar cafe then I recommend you visit their Facebook page on www.facebook.com/villagebarcafe/ - and don't forget to give them a call and book a table!